Arkansas Pizza Shop Under Fire For 'Church Bulletin Discount'

((Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker))A slice of pizza is served a in Sao Paulo, September 28, 2007.

A pizza restaurant in Arkansas is receiving both acclaim and condemnation for offering discounts to people who bring in their church bulletin.

Bailey's Pizza in Searcy, Arkansas started the discount earlier in the summer as a way to get people to visit their shop. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has taken issue with the discount, sending a letter to the owners of the pizza restaurant and demanding they stop the church-related discount.

"It has nothing to do with excluding anybody," Stephen Rose, who owns Bailey's Pizza with his wife Amber, told KTHV. "It's not specific to any church. It's another way to bring people in and make them feel welcome."

Although the Roses are being threatened with a lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, they have also reportedly received an outpouring of support from benefactors who have bought hundreds of dollars worth of pizza to show their support for the small, family-owned pizza shop.

The California-based Advocates for Faith and Freedom legal group has reportedly offered to defend Bailey's pizza if there should be a legal issue with the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The situation at Bailey's pizza is similar to the plight of another restaurant located in North Carolina that gave discounts to those who visibly prayed over their meal before eating. Mary Haglund, owner of Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, eventually stopped the discount offering after receiving complaints from an atheist group. She had originally said that she offered the prayer discount not because of religion, but because she thought the attitude of gratitude was an important expression in her restaurant.

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